By now, the whole world knows that the American people chose to send Barack Obama back to the White House for another four years. But how did your local elected fare on election day? In short, Southern Brooklyn will see little if any change, with all incumbents but one returning for another term. Here’s the roundup.
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand defeated her Republican opponent Wendy Long handily, notching 72 percent of the vote versus Long’s 26.5 percent. Other candidates racked up just 1.4 percent of the vote. This is the first full six-year term Gillibrand has been elected to serve since replacing Hillary Clinton, following a special election in 2010 to complete Clinton’s term.
U.S. House of Representatives
Formerly represented almost entirely by Congressman Anthony Weiner, and then Bob Turner, Southern Brooklyn became divided among numerous representatives during redistricting this past year. The majority of the district is now District 8, represented by Ed Towns. Towns is retiring this year and did not run for reelection, clearing the way for Democratic Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who trounced his opponent with a whopping 90 percent of the vote. His Republican opponent, Alan Bellone, pulled in 8.8 percent, and others brought in 1.2 percent.
Republican Congressman Michael Grimm also picked up a chunk of Southern Brooklyn during redistricting, making his constituency a little more blue than the Staten Island – Bay Ridge crowd he has so far served. And, despite numerous criminal investigations and alleged scandals involving cohorts of the congressman – highly publicized in New York City media – Grimm still defeated his opponent, Democrat Mark Murphy. It was a much closer race than others in the area, with Grimm winning just 52.8 percent of the vote, and Murphy 46.2 percent.
Longtime Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke both held on to their seats with wide margins: 80.7 percent for Nadler and 87 percent for Clarke.
New York Senate
There wasn’t much drama in the State Senate’s Brooklyn delegation. Most notable, perhaps, was Senator David Storobin‘s defeat. Republican Storobin won his current seat in a special election against Lew Fidler to replace Carl Kruger, just to see the district eliminated when the lines were redrawn. He then chose to take on Democrat Simcha Felder for the so-called “Super Jewish” district, which covers Borough Park and Midwood. Despite Storobin’s attempts to depict Felder as a liberal who votes against religious Jewish interests, Felder still beat Storobin with 66.3 percent of the vote, compared to Storobin’s 32.8 percent. That means, come January, Storobin will no longer be an elected official.
Also notable was the race between Republican Senator Marty Golden and his Democratic challenger Andrew Gounardes. Both ran heated campaigns featuring feisty debates and well-coordinated attacks told through press releases and campaign literature. Golden, a senior state senator, has won his election bids somewhat handily over the years – but this year Gounardes proved a formidable challenge. Golden won out, but with a relatively narrow margin. He racked up 58.1 percent of the vote to Gounardes’ 41.9 percent. Golden remains the only Republican State Senator in Brooklyn, and one of only two citywide.
State Senator Diane Savino, who represents Staten Island’s north shore and part of Coney Island, beat Republican Lisa Grey by a three-to-one margin, receiving 76 percent of the vote. Her district will swell to incorporate Brighton Beach, Bath Beach and parts of Gravesend. Similarly, John Sampson, who represents parts of Canarsie and Flatlands will see his district grow to pull in Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, and a chunk of Marine Park and Sheepshead Bay. He, too, defeated his Republican opponent Jane Neal with 89.9 percent of the vote.
New York Assembly
One of the borough’s more contentious races, that for Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz‘s seat, ended with few surprises. Democrat Cymbrowitz faced off against Republican Russ Gallo and Independence candidate Ben Akselrod, the latter of which Cymbrowitz narrowly defeated in a Democratic primary. Conservative voters were left split between Gallo, who received 25.6 percent of the vote, and Akselrod, who received 19.6 percent of the vote – allowing Cymbrowitz to sweep up the remaining 54.7 percent and keep his seat.
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein beat her Republican opponent, Joseph Hayon, with 79.4 percent of the vote, compared to Hayon’s 20.6 percent. Hayon ran a campaign appealing to Orthodox Jewish constituents, painting Weinstein as a gay-friendly candidate who voted in support of same-sex marriage and teaching tolerance in schools.
Brighton Beach – Coney Island Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny also kept his seat, beating Republican challenger Thomas McCarthy, with 58.7 percent of the vote to McCarthy’s 39.5 percent. McCarthy campaigned against Brook-Krasny by touting his business experience in the financial sector, a tactic that failed against Brook-Krasny, who ran a handful of businesses before taking office.
Bensonhurst Assemblymen William Colton and Peter Abbate will both return to Albany next year. Abbate was uncontested, while Colton defeated his Republican opponent, James Rippa, with 74.2 percent of the vote.